Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Five songs written by once successful bands who are now washed up in which they lyrically incorporate the title of one of their past hits in an attempt to remind you that they used to be good:

1. 17 Again - Eurythmics. The Eurythmics were great. They were responsible for some of the most memorable hits of the 80s whilst being both a commercial and critical success. Their latest greatest hits release Eurythmics Ultimate Collection contains hit after hit - but which song did they select for track #1? I've Got A Life, a new song which is not nearly on par with their former glories and which you have to sit through (or skip past) to get to their superb single Sweet Dreams. As if to further illustrate that Annie & Dave aren't above melding their classic back catalogue with their lacklustre current efforts the pair conspicuously incorporate the line 'Sweet dreams are made of anything' into one of their new tracks, 17 again. I guess they were hoping to induce a psychosomatic response in the listener that would cause them to involuntarily think 'Hey, these guys used to be really good'.

2.Welcome To The World - 10cc. 10cc were one of the coolest British pop bands ever, until 1977 when half of the quartet left to do inventive, experimental pop records*. The remaining two members of the band continued under the 10cc name, released a couple of decent albums and descended into a valley of maudlin, M.O.R. pop blandness. The biggest single for this incarnation of 10cc was 1978's Dreadlock Holiday ('I don't like reggae, oh nooo' pretty much sums up my reaction to the song) so it's unsurprising that they artlessly name-drop the title into the lyrics of Welcome To The World from their forgettable album of 1980, Look Hear (2 stars - allmusicguide.com).

*The departing duo Godley & Creme actually incorporate the chorus of 10cc's first single Donna into Group Life from their dark, satirical album L, however it's a device cleverly used in a song satirising life in successful band. You can get away with these things if you do them well.

3. Welcome To The Room... Sara - Fleetwood Mac. My love for Fleetwood Mac is like a passionate love affair. However I've never been able to reconcile this love with one Stevie Nicks. Sure, some of my favourite Fleetwood songs are by Ms. Nicks but I can't seem to shake the feeling that she is simply an average artist who had a few flashes of inspired genius and then just spent the rest of her career hanging around musicians with real talent like a blonde, coked-up leech. On Fleetwood Mac's 1987 album Tango In The Night (containing the huge radio hits Everywhere and Sweet Little Lies both written by the infinitely more talented Christine McVie) Nicks contributed the song Welcome To The Room... Sara - a reference to the hit single Sara from Fleetwood's 1979 masterpiece Tusk. Why not just release a single called Hey, Do You Guys Remember Rhiannon?

4. Tonight - New Kids On The Block (Remember them?). Check out this excerpt from NKOTB's song Tonight: Remember when we said, girl, please don't go, and how I'd be loving you forever, taught you 'bout hangin' tough as long as you got the right stuff, didn't we, girls, ooh, didn't we, girls, aah? Leaving aside for a moment that those lyrics are utter shite, let's do a count on how many of their appalling songs are mentioned in one single verse:
  1. Please Don't Go Girl
  2. I'll Be Loving You (Forever)
  3. Hangin' Tough
  4. You Got It (The Right Stuff)

That's every single from their previous album except for one. These guys should be ashamed (of themselves).

5. Glass Onion - The Beatles. Oh, Come on! I told you about Strawberry Fields - I told you about the walrus and me - I told you about the fool on the hill - Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet etc. This John Lennon character seems positively desperate to convince us that his little band, The Beatles has written a few memorable songs! This shameless plug appears on their barely noticed self-titled release of 1968 (often dismissively referred to as 'The White Album'). The band was so desperate at this point, they even resorted to allowing the drummer to sing on a couple of tracks. Enough said.

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